Tag Archives: history

Edgar Allen Poe Meets King Charles VI: the True Tale of Hop-frog

I came across the most remarkable image and tale in Barbara W. Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, one of the foremost works on the 14th century (the “calamitous” 14th century, as Tuchman calls it.) The illustration, from a French chronicle dated … Continue reading

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Papal Resignation: 13th Century Style

So both of my papers carried stories today about the historic resignation of the Pope. Definitely big news. And both of them referred to the occasion by mentioning the last time a Pope resigned, in 1415–when Pope Gregory XII stepped … Continue reading

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The Original Prince in the Tower: Arthur, Duke of Brittany

All the talk right now is of the last Plantagenet, Richard III, whose bones were identified after being excavated from beneath a car park in Leicester. You remember Richard III–the vile hunchback of Shakespearean fame who slew the princes in … Continue reading

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Great Characters of the Middle Ages: Rahere, Hospital Founder and King’s Fool

This is the second in an irregular series of the unsung heroes, villains, and fools of the fourteenth century. You’ll notice as the series proceeds that there’s a lot of crossover between these categories, but none makes that so clear … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Bastardy

One of the difficulties I’ve had in writing a series set in the fourteenth century is the dearth of appropriate insults. Many of the “fighting words” of today had different meanings back then, or were not used in a pejorative … Continue reading

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: Elisha Barber

I was tagged to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop by the marvelous Heather Albano, author of two (so far!) steampunk novels you can learn more about at her post:  http://www.heatheralbano.com/2012/12/26/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop/ So without further ado: What is the … Continue reading

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Deleted Scenes and Settings: St. Catherine’s Oratory, Chale, Isle of Wight

Every so often in my research I come upon a place or an idea so compelling that I must learn more.  Some of these places eventually become scenes, and some of those scenes, alas, end up on the cutting room floor.  … Continue reading

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Bilbo Baggins’ Bathrobe: an example of poor world-building

Like many of you, I am excited to see the new film(s) based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  I’ve been following its production from a distance, and was interested to read the Wall Street Journal review of the … Continue reading

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Great Characters of the Middle Ages: Cola di Rienzo

Part of the fun of researching other times and places is discovering fascinating people who have, for one reason or another, failed to rise to the attention of the wider public, even those with some interest in the milieu.  “Great … Continue reading

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It was a Dark and Stormy Night. . .

Those of us in the Northeast are bracing right now for the “storm of the century” (yep, another one), and thinking about that old saw on New England Weather, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.  Me, … Continue reading

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